How to Get Your Teen to be Safe Behind the Wheel
Learning how to drive is one of those core milestones in life for many teens, symbolizing their journey toward independence and adulthood. While this is an exciting moment for teenagers, it can be stressful for their parents. Not only is your child now accountable for their safety on the roadways, but the safety of those around them, too. Therefore, you will want to make sure they’re properly prepared and fully understand the responsibility that comes with the new privilege they’re earning. If you’re looking for a vehicle to get your newly licensed or permitted teen driver, consider checking out an Atlanta auto auction, such as SCA. They offer an extensive selection of safe, reliable vehicles, and you may be able to get them at a much better price than checking out a dealer or private seller.
The research has shown that teenagers with parents who set clear rules and expectations on their driving and driving privileges have fewer tickets and accidents than those who don’t. We recommend that parents with a teen behind the wheel enforce these guidelines to keep them safe on the road.
1. Limit Cell Phone Use
One of the simplest yet most important things you can do to help keep your teenager safe behind the wheel is to be strict about their phone usage. Cell phones are distracting enough when you’re not on the road, but they can become a deadly distraction while driving. As such, you’ll want to set clear rules and expectations for your new driver regarding using their favorite devices while driving. Instill that no phone call or text is worth their life and that they should wait until they are parked off of an active roadway before responding to anyone, even you. If you need to contact someone in an emergency and cannot park at the time, utilize hands-free options if possible. Have them set playlists or plan travel routes ahead of time to minimize potential distractions by needing to divert their attention from the road.
2. No Speeding, Ever
While this may seem obvious, not speeding is still important enough to warrant a direct acknowledgment and discussion before trusting your new teen driver to be out on the road on their own. Being a new driver is an exciting experience all on its own, which is only further heightened by getting to see what vehicles are capable of. Unfortunately, without a realistic understanding of the consequences of speeding and the risk that comes with it, teens may feel more willing to risk high speeds for a quick thrill while driving. Be sure to spend plenty of time out on the road with your teen, so you can monitor their driving and instill the importance of being mindful of their speed. In addition, be sure to set clear boundaries and outline clear punishments that will occur if they are caught speeding while driving, including complete revocation of their driving privileges.
3. Don’t Drive Intoxicated
While many parents want to pretend that because substances are illegal for their minors to consume means that they won’t indulge in them, that’s simply not how most teenagers work. As much as we want our teens to wait until they’re legally old enough before consuming alcohol or other intoxicating substances, the truth is that many experiments as teenagers. While this is generally seen as a right of passage for many and not that big of a deal to some, that all changes completely when getting behind the wheel. On top of having a basic discussion about intoxicants, their responsible consumption, and the impact intoxicants can have on developing brains, you’re going to want to have a candid conversation about driving while impaired as well. On top of the serious risk of injury or death for themselves and those around them, drunk and impaired driving comes with serious punishments, such as potential felony charges that can result in license revocation and even serious jail time.
4. Take Advantage of GDL Systems
Today, all states offer what are known as Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) systems. These systems are designed to help newer drivers gain and improve their skills under lower-risk driving conditions. As they progress through the stages of a GDL system, drivers are gradually given increased privileges while on the road, such as being able to drive with passengers or at night. Research has shown that these programs have resulted in fewer injuries and fatalities from crashes while giving teens room to develop their skills over time. While it can vary, drivers generally work from a Learner’s permit to an intermediate license and eventually earn their full-privilege license. Terms and rules can vary from state to state, so be sure to research them before beginning.
5. Keep Your Teen Safe On The Road
Keeping your teen safe is one of your highest priorities as a parent. But of course, that’s often easier said than done, especially as your teen gains more independence and autonomy in their life. The truth is, as much as you want to shield them, you’re not going to be able to be there and protect them all the time. Because of this, you’re going to want to instill core values and skills into your teen to make them safe, responsible, and competent drivers. While accidents can always happen, by doing everything in your power to prepare them, you can rest easy knowing they have the experience and information available to keep themselves safe on the road.